Start-up accelerator Pushstart recently announced the eight participants in its three-month, mentor-driven investment program, an important milestone in the Sydney start-up community's quest to become a sustainable tech industry.
Pushstart managing director Kim Heras said the criteria used to pick the teams was based on the quality of the teams and their mobile and web applications that targeted problems that affected large markets.
"There are definitely people with really good teams, it doesn't matter where they are now, and we know their start-up is going to change over the coming weeks, and many of them have already started changing over three days of mentoring," Heras said. "As long as it's scalable and tackling a problem that has potential to solve big market issues."
Eight companies were selected for the three-month, mentor-driven investment program and, in exchange for giving up an 8 per cent stake in the company, are given $20,000 seed funding and intense mentoring with Pushstart mentors, including BigCommerce co-founder Mitchell Harper and Posse founder Rebekah Campbell.
The eight companies are:
- Bleeply — social media for the enterprise
- GimmeQuotes — qualified lead generation
- Rezon8 — digital advertising
- Matewire — geo-location, real-time activities
- Make Tonight Count — share plans for that night
- Werdsmith — writing and sharing tools
- Quiverizer — surfboard swapping site
- Tinybeans — online baby journal for busy parents
Significantly, the Pushstart companies will be based out of the new Fishburners co-working office in Darlinghurst.
The move combines the intensive mentoring programs that turn ideas into viable businesses, and the co-working spaces that are a focal point for the community and house the next generation of entrepreneurs, two industries have fuelled the unprecedented growth of the local start-up landscape over the past couple of years.
Last year Melbourne's start-up community gained a distinct advantage over its northern counterparts by aligning these two key parts of the start-up supply chain: accelerator AngelCube announced a partnership with co working office Inspire9, and venture firm Adventure Capital opened the York Butter Factory, a co-working space to house its investments and also prospective entrepreneurs.
In Sydney these cogs in the start-up machine operated in isolation, and at best were loosely connected by informal relationships between executives and participants of co-working offices and accelerators.
The Pushstart/Fishburners alliance will introduce co-working wannapreneurs to the challenges and opportunities of launching a start-up as well as the mettle required to succeed in accelerator programs and raise funding. Conversely, Pushstart participants benefit from accessing different ideas and talent, and getting feedback from customers and peers.
Over the last few months Pushstart managing director Kim Heras has coordinated the inaugural mentor program from his HQ in the Fishburners co-working office, which hosted three of the teams that are participating in the program.
"[Fishburners] is the hub and they have the best teams working through there," Heras said. "We didn't want to hide our start-ups away, some of the Pushstart values are all about community and people and giving back, so we wanted to make sure the community as a whole could benefit from our activity and not just the actual start-ups."